The Dragon Ball Phenomenon, What Are The Best Episodes And Why?
The Dragon Ball Phenomenon, What Are The Best Episodes And Why?
Dragon Ball is something that could be studied if someone wanted to. I remember seeing a Japanese article where the writers invited a psychologist to examine the relationship between Piccolo and Gohan. It was impressive! Not only the fact that the psychologist took it seriously, but also that the writers took into consideration an actual professional to study two fictional characters. I believe this speaks levels of the determination Dragon Ball fans have and what they can achieve when they want to.
You might ask, why do I bring this to the table? How dedicated Dragon Ball fans are is something that will never fail to surprise me. Today, if we talk about a series as famous as Dragon Ball without speaking of how it served as inspiration for several anime that came later it is almost impossible. If there is a specific fighting anime you're thinking of right now, it probably took one or two things from Dragon Ball. It can be One Piece, Fairy Tail, Bleach, or even Naruto. Dragon Ball laid the foundations for different anime that came way after.
Dragon Ball And Its Legacy
Dragon Ball made different tropes widespread, so if you're a new anime fan, things like flying fights and crazy hairstyles might seem predictable or even cliché. But, guess what? Dragon Ball was the true pioneer in all of those tropes.
For example, let's remember for a moment the Kamehameha. Sure, if you're here, you probably already know it and all of that. But take a younger anime fan with you and ask them about it! They will probably understand what you're talking about already. This technique is about throwing a ball of energy (or ki) at your enemy while screaming the iconic "Kamehameha." (We talk about the episode where it first appears later!).
The whole thing about throwing power as a form of fighting has always existed, but I would like to believe it's hugely related to the fights in Dragon Ball.
Other famous tropes include the "the more powerful the hair, the more effective the power," and it's hugely present in Dragon Ball. For Toriyama's creative decisions, the Saiyans' transformations include having a new hairstyle where their hair can change color and form. We will never forget the Super Saiyan Blue, where Goku's hair color literally turns blue. Other remarkable transformations are the Ultra Instinct and The Super Saiyan God. Both of them, with their corresponding change in color and shape of Goku's hair.
Still, even an anime like Dragon Ball has its detractors. The haters of this anime's argument are that it tends to be repetitive, and Goku overshadows most characters, including his own friends and enemies. Dragon Ball gained a place in everyone's heart at some point, and I believe it is only pertinent to talk about some of the best Dragon Ball episodes.
Then, What Are The Best Dragon Ball Episodes?
Dragon Ball is a really long series. With so many episodes and divisions (Dragon Ball Z, Super, and GT, we're looking at you), it is easy to forget some of the best moments that made us love Goku and his friends in the first place.
When Goku and his friends defeat Buu
Majin Buu is a funny character that changed his ways as the series progressed. He started being evil, and his different forms showed the audience how versatile he could be. One of the best episodes is when our heroes team destroys him. In this episode, Goku uses the Spirit Bomb to do so, and it's something impressive to watch.
This episode is remembered by fans because it represents the end of one of the most troublesome conflicts in DBZ. We're not talking about the Androids and Cell sagas. (They're good, though). But one of the principal confrontations ended up being the ones with Majin Buu. This basically marks the end of the season.
When Gohan defeats Cell
Gohan had one responsibility assigned to him the moment he was born. Of course, nobody tells him that directly, but everyone expects him to be the best Saiyan, even surpassing his own father. This moment can be summarized by Goku letting his son fight one of the greatest villains in Dragon Ball Z. How did that work? Maybe Goku knows his son after all, and being the first half-Saiyan hybrid has its advantages.
Gohan had engaged in different fights before, but often, he was considered a child by his enemies. Most of the time, his attempts to enter battle were taken as a distraction until Goku arrived.
What other thing makes this episode so great? Gohan uses his dad's trademark technique: the Kamehameha.
When Vegeta starts acting like a goodfella for real
When Dragon Ball started, everything was different. If you told us that at one moment, Vegeta would sacrifice himself for his friends, family, and the Earth, we wouldn't have believed you. The Prince is ambitious and arrogant. Those two wouldn't be bad traits per se, but the thing is that Vegeta rarely does something for other people. (Remember when he didn't even care about Trunks? Exactly). But he changes!
Vegeta does this to try and defeat Buu, but even so, it is admirable. He pretended to be a bomb, literally bringing Buu (and Goku) with him so everything would be resolved.
For someone who seemed to hate the Earth so much, Vegeta took the protecting part seriously. The worst part and what makes this scene hard to watch is that Buu actually survives the attack.
When we see Cell for the first time
If Dragon Ball was an influence for different animes around the world, DB also took inspiration from other movies and media at the time. Fans agree that Cell could be inspired by the sci-fi boom already trending in the 80s. The fact that Cell's principal weapon is literally absorbing people also adds creepiness to his introduction in Dragon Ball Z. Still, Cell went down as one of the most intriguing villains in DBZ.
When Goku and Vegeta fight
This happens during the first episodes of Dragon Ball Z, and for that same reason, it gets a remarkable space on this list. It's nice to remember when Vegeta was ultimately evil, and he hated Goku. You see, part of what made this fight unique is that our hero used the Kaio-ken against the Prince! Vegeta even wanted to destroy Earth with his famous Galick Gun, but it didn't matter since Goku had something already prepared. Do you know what it is? Exactly! The Kaio ken with the so well-known Kamehameha wave.
The first fight these two have is one of the moments in anime that start a complete revolution. Probably the most known rivalry until now. Forget Griffith and Guts or Akira and Ryo. Bring us Vegeta and Goku!
When Raditz arrives
Of course, the starting of one of the most intriguing Dragon Ball seasons has its own place on this list. It's been five years since the last time we saw our heroes, and what a way to start this new season! We started it with Raditz. He is mysterious, but soon we discover the truth: he's Goku's older brother. Even better, he tells us the answer to something that we wondered about all along. Is Goku really human? Well, no. We discover he is a Saiyan and a powerful one at that.
When he participates in the 21st World Martial Arts Tournament
Not only does he participate, but he excels at it. He reaches the grand final, and we are all shocked. One funny thing about this episode is that the one rival Goku gets to fight with is nobody else than someone called "Jackie Chun," who ends up being Master Roshi anyways. Of course, Goku doesn't know this at the moment, and he keeps on fighting to win. It's nice because, at that moment, we understood that Roshi wanted to make Goku give the best of himself.
When Goku shows us his first Kamehameha
Show some respect, please. We are talking about Goku's trademark technique that even if it wasn't his, basically became so. It's one of the best moments because it gave kids around the world something to do, honestly: try to make their own Kamehameha, or at least play with their friends and try to throw them against each other. Even if it was hard for Master Roshi to achieve this, it was easy peasy for Goku. What a genius!
That is everything for today! Dragon Ball has lots of episodes, and it's hard to pick the best ones, so I tried to summarize the best ones according to most Dragon Ball fans and also give my own opinion in the process.
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